Algae eater?

So when I first started up my planted tank (5/6 months ago) I brought in plants that I didn't quarantine or dip, which of course lead to pond snails. I left them in there for quite a while as I didn't mind them; until I noticed holes in the leaves of my Hygo and s. repens. Upon a quick search, I found that pond snails may eat plants- in particular, Hygro and s.repens. Since then, I've been conducting a manual removal of snails whenever I see them. A lot of work, but I don't particularly mind. They're not yet gone- I'm not sure if they ever really will be- but all that is left is the tiniest of the babies.

Well since then, I've read from other hobbyists on facebook pages that pond snails DON'T eat healthy plants. My s.repens and hygro appear to be healthier since I've culled the snails, but I also added 8 ember tetras to my previously cycling/fishless tank. Could the fish have provided some nutrient to my plants which had caused the holes, or do you guys think it was the snails eating them?

Basically, i'm after an algae eater to keep my tank looking a bit fresher. I was originally going to buy some yellow cherry shrimp but have heard they're somewhat poor algae eaters? They are fascinating though.
Have also looked into Otos but have heard they're quite sensitive and hard to keep alive when first bought. This is my first tank (apart from the overstocked and frankly inhumane goldfish tank that I had when I was 9), and keeping otos worries me.

So, in you guy's opinions, what should I get? Cherry shrimp, otos, or allow the snails to re-populate? Or any other suggestions?
I have a 20g-tall (75L) heavily planted(I think?) tank. pH of 6.8 that is being buffered via crushed marble (I'm on rain water). ADA amazonia aquasoil, if that matters. Cycled, up-and-running for 5/6 months with a good source of algae (this can be allowed to grow further if added otos, heard they tend to starve). Currently have 8 ember tetras, maybe adding 4 more, and also planning on adding a dwarf honey gourami. Driftwood in the tank, if that matters.

Thank you all in advance, and sorry for the long post :)


  • Frayk
    Frayk Member Posts: 1,009
    Nothing wrong with a long post! :)
    Id say the snails are eating your plants, the only way to get rid of them is to use something like SNAIL RID, available at your LFS.
    Fish will eat shrimp, as for ottos ,i dont know.
    Hope this helps.
  • Gemmeh
    Gemmeh Member Posts: 12
    Will Snail Rid kill my plants?

    As for shrimp, would the fish eat Amano (if available in Aus?) or North Queensland Algae Shrimp?

    Thanks for the reply :)
  • Heintz.G
    Heintz.G Moderator Posts: 1,363
    Hi Gemmeh,

    Looks like I'm late to the party again Lol,

    Otto's are sensitive for the first couple of months, then they will thrive in a tank, if you want them get a school of about 5 and hope at least 3 will survive (personal experience), you can always get a Bristlenose they will get the job done as long as you don't over feed them.

    Now on to Shrimp, Red Cherry's are a good choice the Tetras might eat the odd Shrimplet as long as you have enough cover the majority will be ok.
    Snail rid is worth a try, from the manufacture

    Blue Planet Snail Rid 125ml

    Blue Planet Snail Rid has been designed to specifically attack snails in freshwater aquariums. Snails will eat plants which cause problems for the enthusiast; however in large amounts snails create havoc to water quality. In some instances snails can degrade the entire eco-system of the aquarium. Snail Rid will kill all snail types; ensure no wanted snails are in the water. Snail Rid is toxic to fish in soft water conditions, it is not recommended as a product to use in these conditions, test and adjust water prior to using the product.

    Many species of freshwater snails are commonly introduced into aquariums with plant life and can rapidly build up in numbers. Rinsing all new plants in running water before adding to the aquarium is recommended to prevent re-infestation. Also sitting plants in a diluted solution of snail rid overnight will ensure eggs and small snails are not introduced.


    1ml per 4 Liters
    5ml per 20 Liters
    Repeat after 3 Days
    Carbonate Hardness should be above 50ppm
    Remove Carbon and absorbing media before use

    Just DON"T use it if you have Shrimp in the tank, it will KILL them as well.


    Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes & dreams.
  • Bob
    Bob Member, Classifieds Posts: 708
    Would not recommend "Snail Rid" in your setup, rainwater at 6.8 is not going to be above 50 ppm, you will lose more than the snails. If you want to be rid of snails in a tank that size I would strongly recommend Botia Sidthimunki, striking little loaches big on character, you will need a small group though as they don't do well alone. Should be okay with your current conditions.

    See link for mor info,


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